Nvidia ACE For Games Gives Video Game NPCs Generative AI Capabilities

Nvidia ACE For Games

Dialogue choices are quite the narrative tool for many video games, but if one were to be nitpicky, often the options provided and their implied tone when selected don’t exactly match. Now, with generative AI being all the rage in the tech space, the natural question to ask would be, what if we added that tech to games? As part of the Nvidia showcase for COMPUTEX 2023, that’s what the company has showcased, with what it calls ACE (Avatar Cloud Engine) For Games.

As the company describes, the Nvidia ACE For Games itself is a suite of middleware, which includes the generative AI toolkit NeMo, the automatic speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS) combo known as Riva. Rounding it us is the Omniverse Audio2Face tech which matches the facial expression of an NPC to match the spoken dialogue. The company specifically mentions compatibility with Unreal Engine 5 and the MetaHuman character creator.

Nvidia ACE For Games voice input
Source: Nvidia / YouTube.

There’s also a demo video showing the Nvidia ACE For Games in action, though to be fair, a scripted showcase doesn’t really do much to show off the possibilities with generative AI. As it is, beyond the apparent voice input of the player character’s line, the dialogue is not that much different compared to contemporary dialogue choices in games.

What it does show though, especially for the nitpicky crowd, are its imperfections. The company says that the tech allows for “accurate facial animations and expressions, all in your native tongue”. In the case of this showcase video, the native language is obviously American English, so we get the common overpronunciation of the name Kumon Aoki.

According to The Verge, Nvidia VP of GeForce Platform Jason Paul says that ACE For Games can scale to more than one character at a time, as well as let NPCs talk to each other. Theoretically anyway, since Paul also says that he hasn’t actually seen that being tested. While that can be amazing for immersion in RPGs with massive worlds, one can already imagine the kind of uncanny valley sensations that would elicit.

(Source: Nvidia, The Verge)

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